The first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 1, coincides with the last day of the cycle of Jewish holidays this year, (the Jewish New Year, Yom Kippur and the festival of Sukkot.) There is a connection here that is worth noting.
It is customary to read the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon’s deeply philosophical and personal tome, on Sukkot. King Solomon is writing at the end of his life, about what, after a lifetime of wealth and fame, really matters.
“Send your bread upon the waters, for after many days, you will find it.”
This verse is understood as a an urging to give charity to strangers, those whom one might never meet. The generosity will be repaid, the giver rewarded.
The cycle of Jewish holidays ends a period of reflection and judgement. Next week we will all return to our routines and officially begin our year. It is important to realize what gift NORMALCY is.
Breast cancer patients who are in treatment and in financial crisis don’t have this privilege; they are in the midst of a fight for survival. We created the Lemonade Fund, Israel’s one and only Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund, to give one-time grants to the most indigent breast cancer patients, to help with:
- lost income due to treatments and dr visits.
- extra childcare or household help
- transportation cost assistance
- emergency financial assistance while awaiting national benefits.
To donate: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/
The Lemonade Fund sends final wishes for a good new year. At the same time we urge all women (and men at risk, 1% of breast cancers occur in men!) to schedule their yearly breast screening.
No one should have to be very ill and very poor at the same time. If you’re sick, you shouldn’t be worrying about how you can’t afford to put food on the table or pay your electric bill.
The ESRA Lemonade Fund gives one-time emergency financial grants to the neediest breast cancer patients in Israel, so that they can focus on getting well.
It is a simple formula. Donations from you go straight to carefully vetted applicants within a month of approval. Donations are tax deductible.
THE STORY OF A SEPTEMBER 2017 GRANT RECIPIENT:
M., an immigrant from Ethiopia, is a mother of 7 children (the youngest is 9 years old,) from a town near Haifa. Her husband has become visually impaired and can no longer work. M. was a hard worker, supporting her family as a nurses’ aide in a senior citizens home. She was laid off a few months before she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and now she cannot work during a long course of treatment, first chemotherapy, then surgery followed by radiation. The family is getting some disability assistance from the National Insurance Institute, but a grant from the Lemonade Fund will tide this family over until they can get back on their feet.
This is what we do.
M. is one of 11 applicants this month. We are asking for your help.
“If any of your fellow citizens become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner or a stranger, so that they can continue to LIVE among you.” (Leviticus 25:35)
To Donate: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/
- N., 34 years old, diagnosed with advanced breast cancer while pregnant with her third child. N. gave birth, but has been and will be hospitalized for while. Husband needs to hire a mitapelet (babysitter) to help him care for the infant and other two children so that he can work. Extended family and husband have used up all of their work vacation days and extra funds. N.’s Social Worker is appealing to the Lemonade Fund to help this family.
- K., 42, is a divorced mother of three children, a victim of domestic violence. Despite this, she had worked hard in the last few years since leaving her husband, to start a new life. She took out a loan to go back to school, but was then diagnosed with breast cancer and couldn’t work or stay in school through the treatments. She is the sole support for herself and her children and is now in severe financial distress. The Lemonade Fund will help her get through this difficult period.
- A., 32 years old, lives in a large village in the Galil, far from the hospital where she is being treated for stage 4 breast cancer. In addition, her young son was recently diagnosed with leukemia and he is being treated in a separate hospital. Though her husband and family are very supportive, the travel costs for her treatments are significant. The formerly solvent family is being pushed to the limit by the auxilliary costs of these serious illnesses. A.’s Social Worker submitted an application to the Lemonade Fund for help with transporation costs, NIS 2500.
Three examples of current need at the Lemonade Fund. Many others as well. All donations are tax deductible, in Israel or the US. Thank you.